If you’re concerned because the Redskins have not brought the player you want them to take in the first round in for a visit, don’t worry about it. There is at about a 50 percent chance that it doesn’t matter.
Visits by a draft prospect to the team facility are very unreliable indicators as to whether or not a team will draft a given player. Last year all three of the quarterbacks taken in the first round, Blake Bortles (Jaguars), Johnny Manziel (Browns), and Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings), visited the facilities of the teams that eventually drafted them. But of the other 29 first round picks only 16 had those pre-draft visits. That’s about 55 percent, so you could do almost as well predicting the draft using visits as a guide by flipping a coin.
Another number that works against tying visits to eventual draft selections is the number of visits permitted. A team is allowed 30 pre-draft visits per year and they get seven draft picks. Even if they only draft players who visited that still means that over three fourths of the visits were by players they don’t take.
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Sometimes visits are smokescreens, designed to make other teams believe there is interest in that player for various strategic purposes. The flip side of that coin is that sometimes a team doesn’t set up a visit to keep from tipping off their interest to other teams. Mike Shanahan famously had no visits or workouts with quarterback Jay Cutler in 2006 before trading up to draft the Vanderbilt product with the 11th pick of the first round.
So, the visits by Ereck Flowers and Dante Fowler and the upcoming visit by Vic Beasley mean either that there is or isn’t Redskins interest in them. Ditto on the fact that Kevin White, Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, and other top-five possibilities have not visited. They’re either extremely interested to the point where they don’t want to tip their hands or they just aren’t under consideration.
The good news here is that we have less than two weeks until it all starts to unfold.
The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:
- The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
- It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
- Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous.
- While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.
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JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?
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